Saturday, January 3, 2009

first humbling moment of 2009

The toddler had an unfortunate run in with a cement floor earlier this week and as a result, has a black and blue eye. As in, it looks like he’s been beaten up. Badly.

Yesterday I needed to run to the store for a few things, and brought the toddler with me.

That was mistake #1.

Every time I turned around, a new stranger was smiling at my child saying, “Oh my goodness! What happened to your eye?” I smiled back and explained the fall, trying my best not to look like a child abuser or neglectful parent.

In the meantime, the toddler was busy wreaking havoc in the produce section. First, he wanted to walk. Fine. Then he wanted to sit in the basket of the cart, which just never works out, so I said no.

That was mistake #2.

Have I mentioned that the toddler is two-and-a-half now?

You already know what happens next. The screaming and crying and full blown temper tantrum because he’s not getting what he wants. I calmly picked him up and wrestled him into the cart seat and strapped him in while strangers stopped to stare at the abusive mother in the produce aisle.

It was a proud moment.

I handled it the way any self-respecting mother would—I strapped him in and gave him a chocolate donut.

(I know, I know. This is not a good way to handle a temper tantrum. But we’re talking extenuating circumstances here.)

And what better way to ring in the New Year than with a reminder to not judge others? I rarely know the whole story of what’s really going on with someone else—or their kids.

Grace. If there’s one word to define my life for 2009, I pray that this is the one. We all need more of it.

15 comments:

Sarah said...

I've had those moments myself. I completely understand. Hugs to you and the toddler...

Leslie said...

I've been there, too! It is a great reminder not to judge. I need reminders like that now and then - I tend to be too judgmental way too often.

I hope the toddler is feeling better after the fall.

Happy New Year.

Ann Kroeker said...

I love this story...it's so *real* with a powerful reminder at the end.

I think you've inspired me to write a series of "firsts" posts. First ______ of 2009. But let them be these kinds of honest, real stories that remind us about how to live the daily mom-stuff, life-stuff, faith-stuff, even when it's humbling and frustrating.

I also love your call to grace.

More of it.

Lots of it.

A whole year of it!

Llama Momma said...

Sarah -- thank you! It's good to remember we've all been there at one point or another!

Leslie -- He's fine. We watched him carefully for concussion -- waking him up every 40 minutes was a real treat. He's fine...just bruised!

Ann -- I look forward to reading your firsts. And we all need more grace, don't we? It's good to be back to blogland. :-)

Mommy Cracked said...

Oh my goodness. We've also had a close call like that and I tell you, it really made me feel worse in the emergency room when they started grilling us. I know they HAVE to just for the child's sake, but it felt strange to be asked questions about abuse. *shudder*

And yes, we could all stand to extend more grace to everyone. Thanks for the reminder!

hellolittlepeepers said...

Ava has a black eye from a run in with her doll house. It is mostly gone now and just looks like blue eye shadow. I wonder what happens around 2 1/2 that makes the grocery cart and their position in it a symbol of their independence?

Llama Momma said...

Mommy Cracked -- I don't resent pediatricians and ER docs asking the tough questions at all -- if it saves just one child from being abused, ask away. We have nothing to hide. But I know it can be a tough place to be -- on the other end of a grilling session!! :-)

Peepers -- I think independence is the name of the game. The toddler wants what he wants all of the time...and when it doesn't line up with whatever I want, it's usually a showdown.

And while I'm sorry for Ava's unfortunate dollhouse incident, I'm secretly relieved that we won't have the only banged up toddler at church today. (Though he's looking waaaaay better than he did! For awhile his eye was swollen shut. Nice.)

clc said...

i think we've all been there! my friend dislocated her son's shoulder trying to lift him up off the floor from a tantrum. how do you explain that one at the hospital? :)

my moment was at costco. somehow the warehouse environment makes everything echo. and this lady kept looking at me like i was cruel for holding my ground. you know, the "he's screaming so his mom must beat him" look. so i turned to her and said, "if you have a better way to deal with this situation, i'm all ears. seriously." that snapped her out of it.

Anonymous said...

I remember when DH pulled on Abbie's arm too hard and dislocated it (this is a very common occurence in kids under 2 - they call it nursemaid's elbow or some such) - anyway, we didn't know that then and had a humbling moment of our own - the grilling at the hospital and everything. your story made me laugh but also was a wonderful reminder. thanks, llama momma! suzy

Marmot Mom said...

Great to have you back in Blogland! I remember our share of "Grocery Store Moments" (doesn't that sound like a book title looking for a place to happen?) Kudos for the chocolate donut! You know my views: a well-placed bribe is a thing of beauty.

--So good to have you back :)))

TJ Wilson said...

always love your stories.
keep writing...

spaghettipie said...

Hey friend! Glad to hear your voice in the blogosphere again.

And I think we all have those moments in the grocery store, don't we?

Llama Momma said...

You guys rock!! Thanks for the warm welcome back to blogland. :-)

Charity Singleton said...

Hey there! It's been a long time, and as I landed right here tonight, I found that honest, refreshing voice back at it. Good to hear from you!

Jenny from Chicago said...

okay...love that you explained while trying to look like your not a child abuser. Ha.